November 12, 2012

Prof Wadan Narsey: Circumventing media censorship through Youtube

Fiji's media self-censorship continues unabated (today is 11 November 2012).  

Despite my being a responsible and constructive development economist and a concerned citizen of Fiji, the media refuses to run articles or interviews with me on matters that relate to my professional expertise.

One newspaper, while freely publishing attacks on me by foreign journalists and writers, will not give me the same space for right of reply.

Another newspaper, intimidated by charges against its owner, does not even return emails, and hardly ever runs any articles by me, to the extent that I have given up submitting any.

One television station, intimidated by the Regime's refusal to grant the normal license (instead of a six-monthly one) is not able to run educational programs using my work.  One recent example is the significant set of findings from my analysis of the 2008-09 household income and expenditure survey on which I co-ordinated three national workshops with Planning Office and the Fiji Bureau of Statistics. The same station gladly maximised the outreach of all my work to the Fiji public several years ago, while weekly seeking commentary on current economic issues.

The less said about the government-owned and controlled television station the better.

Professional colleagues at my former place of employment have internalized the management's rejection of my professional services in many of their activities, where I would have been previously welcome, and seen as an asset to their teaching outreach to the Fiji and Pacific community.

It would be very easy to feel bitterness at being "dehumanised" and deprived of your freedom of speech and the right to contribute your professional expertise in your own country.

It is doubly galling when one sees the same media falling over backwards in giving prominence on a daily basis to Regime spokespersons and Regime supporters, even to the extent of unquestioningly propagating deliberate propaganda or even outright lies and deception of the public.

But out of adversity comes opportunity. This media censorship of my community education services has encouraged me, somewhat belatedly, to take advantage of the Internet educational technology that is freely available to the world, through Youtube.

I have also felt increasingly that many of our people have difficulty reading even one page articles, while they will willingly watch a presentation, possibly because all our communities come from an oral tradition, rather than a reading one. I hope to focus more on short video clips for my community education work in the future. Hopefully, I will get on top of the technology of both producing the material and communicating it.

Viewers may access those video clips I have of my professional contributions to the Fiji public, most generally ignored by the Fiji media.

Please feel free to publicize this link.

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